Literature trail

Literature trail

Literaturpfad_Karte_01Important medieval texts are brought to life through innovative presentation concepts at eight different venues in Styria. One of these is Admont and the literature trail here leads visitors along a 500 meter pathway around the Abbey in Upper Styria. To be discovered along the trail are five spectacular 3D objects that vividly portray text excerpts from a classic of medical literature, in this case a 15th century manuscript held by Admont Abbey of writings by the famous 12th century doctor, Bartholomew of Salerno.

The project director is Prof. Dr. Wernfried Hofmeister of the Institute of German Studies of Graz University. As Hofmeister says: “These locations have been deliberately chosen as places at which texts were once collected and even produced in the Middle Ages. People who became ill and simply did not know what else to do often came to abbeys and monasteries. Among the gems in Admont Abbey library, we discovered a real treasure in the form of a medieval collection of medical literature attributed to Bartholomew of Salerno.”

This jewel of the Middle Ages is evoked by selections from its pages that are on display along this easily accessible trail. At the five narrative stations, the medical texts are brought to life through an innovative presentation concept. A multimedia option is provided by the QR code on the last station; visitors need to scan the code with their phone’s camera and they will be able to listen to an audiotext. Images from costly manuscripts illustrate the teachings of Bartholomew of Salerno; included is his remedy for curing toothache. The works of Bartholomew of Salerno were bestsellers in their time thanks to their practical guide to living. The project team has attempted to encapsulate the range of his medical knowledge on this literature trail.

The eight literature trails of Styria with their stations together represent a network unique to Europe and they will continue to be maintained by the university association ‘Styrian Literature Trails of the Middle Ages’ for the next 5 – 10 years.

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